Riding on Thalys

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Riding on Thalys Reviews

HCSmooth66 HCSmooth…
64 reviews
Beware of where you buy your tickets and where you have to pick them up Sep 09, 2009
“Different Right Down The Line” is the slogan on the front of the ticket jacket for Thalys, the high-speed train company I used to get both from Paris to Brussels and later Brussels to Amsterdam. I was annoyed with both experiences. I probably pushed things a little bit too closely to begin with in Paris, but I had probably 40-45 minutes at the station before my trip left. But, when I stopped by the machine to collect my ticket that I had booked it didn’t work. I had to go stand in line and I watched the minutes tick by. Finally, with 5 minutes until my train was set to leave I finally got my chance at the booth. I had intended to pick up both of my tickets while I was there, but as I was really rushed it slipped my mind as I retrieved the ticket and had to run to the train. The train ride itself was fine. Smooth, fast, relaxing, and short.

My inability to collect both of my tickets while in Gare du Nord in Paris would cost me both in sanity and in money. I had purchased both of my tickets online at the same time. Evidently what this means is that they were issued by a ticketing agency in France. Both were on Thalys, so I figured it’d be no big deal to just pick up my 2nd ticket when I was at Brussels Midi. Big mistake. I don’t know whether I’m the stupid one for assuming that I’d be able to pick up my train ticket at the train station I was departing from, or if Thalys is horribly stupid for requiring me to pick up both of my tickets in France. I lean toward Thalys being stupid, because I’m a pretty intelligent and think somewhat rationally. I was given 2 options: buy a new ticket for the morning train at €51 or wait until a ticket office opened up at 10. This ticket office, however, was not at Brussels Midi. I’d have had to get on the subway and take a train across town, find this location and hope that they’d be able to help me out with claiming my ticket. So I just bought the extra ticket. That pisses me off and hopefully I’ll be able to get a refund on the original ticket but I don’t have high hopes.

To anyone taking a train on various journeys be sure you know where you bought your ticket and where you’re supposed to pick it up. It might not be as obvious and rational a system as you’d expect.
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